Breaking News and Doorstep Blues – Life As A Freelance Journalist

journalists

I love my job, I do, I work consistently and for great companies. I also knew that it wouldn’t be easy. There are times I want to get on a flight never to return, but I also believe hard work is rewarded and that you’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do. However, people can be a pain. Here are a list of things Journalists can relate to.

  1. “What you do is good exposure” –  Last time we checked landlords don’t accept good exposure in exchange for rent.
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2. “Do you think you’ll ever go back to having a proper job?”  – Long pause. followed by feelings of inadequacy, followed by anger, followed by indigestion.

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They haven’t asked me to appear on Girls yet, that’s the only other proper job I’d do.

3. “I have an idea for a book, do you have time to write it for me?” – Hang on there, let me just finish painting my dogs toenails and then I’m free to write your memoir, proofread your thesis and mind your triplets.

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4. “How come I’ve never heard of you?” – BECAUSE I’M NOT BEYONCE – I’M A JOURNALIST – I’M NOT AN INTERNATIONAL POPSTAR. WELL I AMN’T AT THE MOMENT ANYWAY.

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5. “The cheque is in the post” –  or not, maybe try not, the cheque is not in the post, that would be better for everybody involved.

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6. “Yes we sent a press release about our crisis talks that we would like you to feature in your news bulletins but no we are not available for comment”

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7. Journalists like to live on the edge 

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8. When you record a really great/important interview that didn’t record.

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9. When the autocue stops working mid-bulletin

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10. When you go to a presser that started too early or too late or never happened and your colleagues are wondering where the audio is.

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11. When you have been on earlies for a while 

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12. When you haven’t been out in a while because you’ve been working a lot and decide a few drinks might do you good

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13. “Oh my god you are never out of the newsroom, you must be loaded” – yeah, that’s it, loaded, they see me rollin……they see me rollin…they see me rollin….my own bike to work

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My wheels

14. “You lucky thing, off on a Monday” – You are right I’m lucky, but bear in mind I worked while you got drunk on Saturday and Sunday and every other Bank Holiday Monday.

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15. “You should have a baby before it’s too late” People who say this when they receive 6 to 12 months maternity leave can leave a message with my P.A.

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16. “So you basically just report on bad news all day” – That’s it. That’s all I do.

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17. “So, you’re a Journalist, you’d know Enda well so?” – Yes is the answer, Enda and I go way back, we are tight, we like to avail of the student night deals in Everleigh Gardens on a Wednesday.

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18. Trying to get cover and realising there is nobody else out there as ‘dedicated’ (sad) as you.

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19. You can never switch off – Your inner voice even has a twitch “should I make a documentary on the homelessness crisis or the old man who robs condoms from Tesco or the the plight of the four humped camels in Egypt, or should I go to Syria or Gaza right now and do what I always wanted to do and report from the front line. Should I interview Pistorius, Putin or Palin. Should I go back to College and retrain. Why is the Dalai Lama so happy, should I pose naked in Playboy and earn enough money to do what I want to do and make a documentary on Africa’s tribal communities. I must retweet that very clever article, have I paid my water bill, should I eat this croissant if I’m to do a Playboy shoot. Should I only write and broadcast items that I feel strongly about and ditch the rubbish. Why am I being censored, should I emigrate now before it’s too late, when is the next roster due, why did he look at me like that, am I a good enough sister, daughter, wife or dog owner, am I sleeping standing up again, did I lodge that cheque so I can eat this weekend, did I reply to that email or read the 75 whats apps, was that a tenner on the ground there, yes it was, I’ll have that, why do these trousers ride me like Seabiscuit, will I ever own a house, how fascinating is Boris Johnson, will Hilary do it, did Meryl really want to be in the Suffragette movie, will I still be working in January, do I have imposter syndrome, am I good enough, why is Zuma such a giant dick, can I house any refugees, did I publish my blog on winter knits, it’s constant, the brain does. not. switch off.funny-troll-brain-ideas-sleeping

20. Seeing young, perky, (sniper) journalists everywhere and realising large numbers will be pouring out of universities/prisons in the next few years ready to take you down. Trying to convince yourself that ‘old is the new young’ and remembering life experience counts for A LOT and trying to ignore their ‘reactive reporting’ and constant ‘we can just google it’ ‘robots will be reading the news in a few years’ ‘digital news beats live broadcasts hands down’ ‘tweet first we can confirm after’ and ‘snapchat, periscope and instagram my ass’

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21. Moods being almost entirely contingent upon the actions of editors. Like Donald Trump when he hasn’t had his spray tan there are high and lows.

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22. People being inaccessible but constantly harping on about the importance of building relationships oh and the fact that we work in the COMMUNICATIONS industry. 

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23. Know-it-alls.

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24. When a breaking story comes in with one minute until your broadcast and everyone looks at you.

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25. “Anyone up for last minute brunch, homemade chilli con carne, swap your husband night, spin the bottle, pin the tail on the donkey, frozen Moito Tuesdays etc. No but if you ask me now I can check next month’s roster. Get used to having a ‘different’ social life to that of your friends.

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No life

26. “You are able to come in right?” Yes no probs! I’ll come in, be right there. No problem at all. Discovering you have a weakness for saying YES at the most inopportune time

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27. When you are ON IT. But someone decides they are also ON IT too and two of YOU ARE ON the same story for no good reason at all.

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28. “You should have saved your tax money, isn’t that big bill due in a week”

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Don’t do this.

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Rebecca

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